A proposed Missouri law is raising significant concerns for residents of Missouri who are at risk for malignant mesothelioma. The bill, sponsored by state Senator Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, would make it nearly impossible for people who have been exposed to asbestos to file claims against the product manufacturers responsible for their exposure. The state currently allows people who have been harmed by a product up to five years after the date that they are diagnosed with an illness to file a liability claim against its manufacturers. Ms. Riddle’s proposal would shift the limit to ten years after exposure to the dangerous product took place. Because mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases have such a long latency period, the new rule would effectively preclude victims of asbestos exposure from getting the justice that they deserve.
Month: January 2018
Mesothelioma, testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer: they’re just a few of the serious illnesses that strike firefighters as a result of doing their job. The town of Watertown, Massachusetts just lost its 51-year old fire chief to pancreatic cancer, and it’s forced a reckoning for members of the Watertown Fire Department and the town as a whole.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is difficult to cope with: many victims react with anger and a pledge to fight, while others withdraw and surrender, saying that there’s no point in battling a disease that is always fatal. Whether you choose an aggressive treatment approach or simply opt to have your pain kept to a minimum, you still want to maintain the highest quality of life possible, and much of that depends on eating a healthy diet. For cancer patients, that means learning to live with your symptoms, letting yourself skip meals when your appetite wanes and taking advantage of periods of hunger by taking your best and biggest meals then. Here are some helpful hints for how to get the best nutrition possible while dealing with your condition.
When a person is diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, there are a lot of things that need to be dealt with immediately: appointments need to be made for diagnostic tests and with specialists; calls need to be made to family and friends; financial and legal decisions need to be made. With all that on your plate, it is easy to dismiss your doctor’s suggestion that you get involved with a mesothelioma patient support group, but ignoring this advice is a big mistake. Time and time again, cancer patients suffering from all variations of the disease have pointed to these gatherings as some of the most important and beneficial time that they spend after diagnosis, and the same is true of their family members and caregivers.
Over the years, scientists seeking a cure for malignant mesothelioma have turned to a wide array of unusual sources. Many of their efforts have proven to be wild goose chases, and even more are still being studied. One of the most unusual sources of a potential treatment has recently been described by Japanese researchers in an article in the online medical journal PLoS One. The scientists, hailing from the Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Sendai, have determined that a protein called cSBL (Sialic acid-binding lectin) derived from the eggs of bullfrogs may cause mesothelioma cell death and provide patients diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease with an effective new form of treatment.
A recent move by the United Kingdom agency MHRA, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, may offer hope for more effective treatment and longer survival times for patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The group recently designated the drug nintedanib with the status of Promising Innovative Medicine, or PIM, which is the first step in a process that could lead to mesothelioma patients in the UK being able to use the medication as part of their treatment protocol.
When discussing the risk factors for malignant mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer, researchers often point to high levels of exposure, usually from occupational settings. As a result, air quality standards have been established, indicating levels at which mesothelioma and other diseases are considered a risk. But now researchers from Montana State University are raising a warning flag about much lower levels of exposure: their recent study indicates that even small doses of asbestos fibers in the lungs can lead to significant pleural disease.
Though news reporters and relief workers spent a huge amount of time in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath focused on restoring electricity, drinking water and normal activity to Puerto Rico’s residents, they may not have realized that the greatest impact of the hurricane may not be realized until decades from now, when people may start to be diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. The island’s infrastructure, homes and water pipes were largely built using asbestos, the mineral that has been identified as the specific cause of this deadly form of cancer: when the storms 155-mile-per-hour winds and floodwaters demolished these structures, it sent microscopic particles of the carcinogen into the island’s air and its drinking water.
The search for a cure for malignant mesothelioma is complicated by several difficult realities. The aggressive and fatal form of cancer has proven to be particularly resistant to the various treatment protocols that have used successfully in other cancers. That challenge is combined with the fact that the disease is so extremely rare. With only about 3,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, there is not much of a public outcry for research money to be dedicated to finding a cure, and even when the funding is there, it is difficult to test innovative treatments when the pool of participants for clinical trials is so small. That’s why the Cancer Moonshot 2020 initiative is cause for such hope among those in the mesothelioma community.